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Partnerships – when differences of opinion become legal

It is rare to see a decision surrounding the facts of a professional services partnership dissolution, says Siobhán Buckley

20 August 2014

It is rare to see a decision surrounding the facts of a professional services partnership dissolution. However, substantive insight to the application of legal principles surrounding the dissolution of partnerships was given in the case of Bishops v Goldstein earlier this year.

The partnership of two lawyers was originally to be for the defined term of four years with guaranteed levels of profits to be paid to Mr Goldstein, one of the partners. It terminated early in this case by the agreement of Goldstein and Mr Bishop as a result of Bishop’s conduct.

If Goldstein had brought himself within section 35 (d) of the Partnership Act 1890, where one of the grounds confers a discretion on the court to give a decree of dissolution, he would have been able to claim for damages for breach of the terms of the partnership agreement.

The High Court Judge had already found (a...

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